Michigan Supreme Court Grants Leave in Adopt-and-Amend Case:

No Change for Operators Right Now

Today, the Michigan Supreme Court granted leave in Mothering Justice, et. al. v. Dana Nessel, more commonly referred to as the "Adopt and Amend" case.

As a reminder, in July 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims ruled unconstitutional an action taken by the Michigan legislature when it adopted two citizen-initiated petitions in 2018, then later amended them in the same legislative session. An appeal was then filed to the Michigan Court of Appeals. In January 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a unanimous 3-0 ruling in the case Mothering Justice v. Attorney General in favor of the State that Michigan’s constitution does not prevent Michigan’s Legislature from adopting and amending a ballot proposal in the same legislative session. 

As always, the MRLA will keep its Members updated on the status of the case and any impacts it may have to your operations. 

What Does This Mean?

  • The Michigan Supreme Court is taking up the appeal to the unanimous 3-0 ruling from the Court of Appeals earlier this year
  • Briefings and oral arguments will be scheduled
  • Timing for next steps is unclear, however it is not expedited
  • This does not guarantee that the Michigan Supreme Court will issue a ruling at all

How Does this Impact Operators Right Now?

  • There are no required changes to your operations at this time
  • Michigan minimum wage remains at $10.10 per hour
  • Michigan tipped minimum wage remains at $3.84 per hour
  • No changes to current paid sick leave requirements

Statement from MRLA President & CEO, Justin Winslow:

“We are surprised by the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision to accept the ‘Adopt-and-Amend’ case on appeal given the thorough and unanimous decision out of the Court of Appeals. We are committed to defending the integrity and solvency of the restaurant industry, which remains perilously stuck in the middle of a legal argument over legislative authority, not restaurant operations. If the Michigan Supreme Court ultimately rules against the legislature and the 2018 proposals are allowed to be implemented as originally crafted, restaurant operators would immediately experience more than 200% labor cost inflation at a time when their recovery remains tenuous and the median wage for tipped employees currently exceeds $27 per hour. The inevitable result would be instantaneous menu price increases, significant layoffs and more restaurant closures.” 

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association continues to fight for your business every day, but cannot do so without your support through MRLA Membership.

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The MRLA does not have a legal standing in the lawsuit, but has played an active role in the process to protect your business by:

  • Serving as the only advocate for the entire hospitality industry in Michigan on this issue since the original Court of Claims ruling in July
  • Filing an amicus brief in favor of adopt and amend and outlining the detrimental impact that the elimination of tip credit would have on our industry
  • Hosting Save Michigan Restaurants informational sessions across the state to keep owners and operators informed on the process
  • Amplifying messages from servers, owners, and operators about the negative impact this will have on a hospitality industry still recovering in a post-COVID environment

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Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association
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